Thursday, 5 July 2012

Must see films…if you really have nothing better to do: The Boss by James Everingham ( )  in which my 14 year old son and some of his chums beat each other up in and around the Fossils warehouse.

T Rex loves Oranges ( ) in which a silly robotic dinosaur and a silly human have a meaningful dialogue about table manners.

Million Dollar Moon Rock Heist - soon to be on the National Geographic Channel, in which a Mormon fantasist nicks fossils and moonrock and attempts to sell them on EBay. A true story. The shelves of my warehouse double as the Utah Natural History Museum where one of the heinous crimes takes place.

Harvey Nichols, the London fashion store, are knocking out silk vests and scarves with designs taken from enlarged microscopic images of fossils and minerals. Their creator, Professor of Architecture at Cardiff University, Richard Weston, also produces BIG wall hangings and carpets and has held exhibitions of his work all over the world.   Check him out on

Massive fossil fleas, with weapon-like serrated proboscii, have been discovered in Jurassic rocks in China. They are 8TIMES the size of their modern counterparts…nearly 1 inch long!!!  However their legs were not as developed as modern fleas so they crawled rather than hopped.  Most of the mammals of the period were shrew sized creatures so it is presumed the fleas lived off (and on) the feathered dinosaurs found in the same rocks.

Researchers at Bristol University found that a 24 foot long Pliosaur from Wiltshire suffered with painful arthritis in its massive 6 foot long jaws. The 150 million year old predator put up with a crooked bite for years before its jaw finally snapped, no doubt causing the animal’s death from hunger Palaeontologists have always been puzzled by the period between 360 and 345 million years ago, christened Romers Gap after an influential American Prof.
There was no activity on land before this period, nothing much was found anywhere during this period and then out of the blue plenty of land creatures are found.  It was suggested that low levels of oxygen during this period limited evolution on land…

Until legendary fossil finder, Mr Stan Wood, put on his waders and closed the gap by finding a large diversity of amphibians, plants, fish and invertebrates in a river bed in Berwickshire.  A selection of 20 of these fossils are now on special exhibition at the Royal Scottish museum in Edinburgh.  They are not very dramatic to look at but are of immense scientific importance, showing that animals with 5 fingers and toes appeared 20 million years earlier than previous estimates.

The exhibition is also a fitting recognition of Stan’s excellent work in finding, analysing and documenting Fossils.  Former merchant seaman and insurance salesman, Stan Wood has been a professional collector since 1968 and has upset as many academics as he has delighted by his successes. He has found over 3 dozen new species including the earliest known Tetrapod in Europe (and possibly the world) and some sharks with very strange sexual appendages. What a star.